Part 1Her name was Mother Goose.
She was mixed up. Mixed up in something she couldn't handle. Something serious.
There was only one person who could help her. That person was me.
The name's Murphy. Maxwell Murphy. I'm a private dick with a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Everest. I take the jobs that nobody else wants. This was one of those jobs.
Some people tell me I'm handsome, but I keep to myself. Like I always say, there's no trouble in this world like the trouble on the back of a Dame. My hair is dark, like the bottle of Jack on my desk, and my pajamas are bland. You don't need rocket ships to catch scum. You just need balls.
It was last Tuesday when I met her. I was relaxing in my office late at night, reading a nudie magazine. My girl-friday and secretary Mona cut loose around Midnight, wishing me a goodbye from the door. She's a cute kid. Loves danger, and that's why I'm no good for her. Her mother hates me and with good reason. She's in love with my image and that's a cheque my heart can't cash.
I turned out my lights after she left and just sat in the dark for a while, sipping my Manhattan under the rays of the moon reflecting off of the snow on my windowsill. The door outside said "Murphy" and below it, in thick black ink, "Private Detective". But just barely.
I hadn't had any business in a long time. Not since my last case. Three died that night, and blood from two of them was on my hands.
Slowly, I began to drift off. How long had I been sitting there?, I wondered. My hands felt clumsy and slow, and my tongue seemed too big for my mouth. I had felt this before. Some malicious bastard slipped something in my drink.
I had been drugged. But why? And by whom?
I felt light, like I was flying; like, maybe, I was riding on the back of a giant goose. It felt good. There was no worry here, no anger or fear. No bills to pay and no Johnny-law on my ass. It was just me and the goose and the open sky.
Also a few clouds, I guess.
When I came to, I was outside somewhere warm, sitting on the back of an actual goose. The goose wasn't happy and neither was I. Partly because my slippers had goose shit all over them, but mostly because I had no idea where the Hell I was. I had been kidnapped.
The door in the little cottage swung open and a tall drink of water with gams like two stalks of delicious celery walked out, wearing a red dress that'd get you shot in most Southern states. Her eyes said hello, but her lips said hi.
She wanted something, and it wasn't what I wanted. No, it wasn't sexual intercourse at all.
She reminded me of my last case and the broad who hired me: Gertrude. Gertrude had a whole lot of secrets. Deadly secrets.
And with that, she was gone. So that was it. She and her cronies had kidnapped me to solve a mystery. Something told me I wasn't going to get home until after I helped her.
I wondered if I was going to get paid.
Her rhymes, she said, were mixed up. On the streets, 'rhymes' was a code-word for drugs. She wanted me to find her drugs and return them to her. The damn harlot was a crackden mother. The track-marks in her arms made a whole lot of sense all of a sudden. So did the joint she was smoking when she talked to me. Also, she snorted about a gram of cocaine on her way back into the house. Oh yeah, and she smelled of liquor.
This was my kind of woman.
I stood outside the cottage for a few moments trying to decide what to do next. I'd need some leads, and for that, I'd need to put the muscle on some of the locals. I had the feeling it was going to be a long day.
And I was still in my pajamas.